Henri Matisse Museum in Nice is one of the most visited museums in the city. The museum was opened in Nice (Cimiez district) 9 years after the artist's death in 1954. (In Cimiez Matisse lived for about forty years, he was buried here). Nice became for him a city which the artist having «discovered» it immediately loved. He considered himself very happy being able to see the beauty of light over the sea and the colour of waves in the Bay of Angels. Quiet life after the World War I and the «paradisiac» beauty of Nice influenced on the master inspiringly.
Matisse settled with his family in Nice when he was a well-known founder of the flow of Fauvism, in 1917. (The doctors advised him to move here, in a place with a mild climate, after bronchitis.)
Here Henri Matisse mainly devoted his time to work standing aloof the idle entertainments of the resort town. He also liked sports – went in for rowing, was a member of the local sports club. In his house in Cimiez artist created many paintings the main role in which played the colour. In the paintings there are the people on a background of the blue sea, the bright yellow lemons, black «Viennese» chairs, colourful summer umbrellas....
The ochraceous building on a green hill where the museum is located now is Genoese villa built in the 17th century. Most of the famous paintings exhibited in the museum produced in this building. Here the visitors get acquainted in the fascinating way with life and work of the master.
The beginning of the museum exposition was «laid down» by Henri Matissehimself who within his lifetime presented to the city of Nice the painting «Still Life with Pomegranates», the work «Creole Dancer» created in decoupage technique, as well as 2 silk screen printings and a few drawings.
Up to date the collection contains more than 200 drawings and engravings, 57 sculptures and 68 paintings (including those in the decoupage techniques), stained-glass windows for the Chapel of the Rosary, «blue collages», ceramics, maestro’s tapestries. (You can also see the books, photographs and personal belongings of the artist).
A distinctive feature of the exhibition is not a traditional layout of exhibits by the historical periods, but according to a single topic, Matisse’s conception. (For example, having approached to the famous painting «Flowers and Fruit» the visitor can «trace» the path of its creation by the artist’s sketches placed around).
The 18 rooms of the museum both the famous masterpieces of Matisseand his little-known unique works (stained glass windows, vestments for priests, etc.) are placed. A separate room on the 2nd floor of the museum is dedicated to the work of Matisse on the design of the Chapel of the Rosary in the town of Vence which is located near Nice.